Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Here Lies Peperony and Chease"

Last Friday night Mr. Future Marital Property and I spent one of the nerdiest nights in history at home. First, we watched an episode of NUMB3RS in which Charlie totally solved an international art heist/murder/Nazi looting case with... calculus!

Then, as though that weren't nerdy enough, we found an online link to the game of my childhood, Oregon Trail. In eighth grade, when I was taking math at the high school, I would return to my junior high in the middle of second period. I and my fellow math nerds were confined to the library until third period started. Everyday, during that interim we played Oregon Trail.

The site we found emulates the colors on the screen, the music when you visit the landmarks on the trail, the hunting (darn those skittish squirrels and our pathetic ability to carry only 100 pounds of meat), and the insanely slow speed of the old game. It brought me right back to that musty, Anwatin library with the seventies carpeting and dingy books. In this nifty new web version, instead of crawling along at a snail's pace, you can select to play the game at slightly faster paces. This feature makes for some very speedy ventures across the territories. So, go on, be a carpenter, shoot some buffalo, and ford that river!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Animals, Associate-land, and an Agitating Event

Howdy-doo potentially still faithful readers. I've been more remiss than (possibly) ever before about posting to my blog. This time, I offer no excuses. I'll just launch right in. Stream of consciousness.

It's no secret to my friends (or to readers of this blog (see 9/30/05 entry)) that I don't like animals. However, I've realized in the past few days that I might need to keep this information more private.* I'm guessing that some people don't have the same poodle-phobia as I do. Perhaps I've even mentioned how poodles scare me in the presence of a poodle owner. Some people probably even think that it's cruel and disturbing that I don't like animals.** Sort of like how I find it strange when people say they don't like children. Heck, animal rights activists are surely disgusted that I drink milk, or (gasp) eat beef. Anyway, I'm going to try and keep this distaste more private from now on in conversation.**

In other news, I've started work. For now I feel like I'm pretending to be a lawyer. Pretending to be a grown-up. It feels eerily similar to when my sister and I used to play "school." Generally in those days, because I am the elder sister, I would play the teacher. I didn't really have much to teach, nor did I have any training whatsoever, but I assumed the responsibility. I guess it's time to do the same thing now.

Finally, I've shared this story with a few people but thought I'd put it out here in case there are any other comments or viewpoints I haven't yet received. The other day I was waiting to cross the street on my nearest corner to catch the bus and head to work. At the corner, where there is a saloon, a man was standing outside the door to the bar. I've seen him around before. He is evidently homeless and possibly schizophrenic. I make these assumptions because he's usually talking to himself, his clothes are worn, and he doesn't have shoes.

On this particular morning, this man said "Hello" to me and then started repeating "Hello, Robin." [Why "Robin?" Who knows?] I smiled, in his direction, and then turned to cross the street. Adjacent to me, but on the other side of the street I had noticed a police car. To avoid jaywalking in the presence of the police, I patiently waited to cross until the light changed. Just before I was able to cross, and as my bus was approaching, an officer came out of the car and started yelling at this man. With profanities omitted for my dear reaaders, the officer told him to stop bothering me and to get out and move on his way. Understandably, the man on the corner was startled and intimidated. The situation/power imbalance, worsened when the other officer came out and started saying the same things.

In part because I needed to catch my bus, in part because I was dumbfounded, I crossed the street and left the scene without saying anything. I don't know exactly what I would have said. I also don't know what had transpired earlier that day. Perhaps this man on the corner had actually created problems in the neighborhood.

What it looked like to me though, was a show of force to sweep "unwanted" people off the streets of our rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. It appeared to be a tactic whereby the police would incite a reaction from the person they were targeting, allowing them to arrest the person or remove them from the area. No matter what, it was deeply unsettling. Have I over, or underreacted?

* Note the irony: I'm publicizing my dislike on the Internet before shutting up in regular conversation.
** See exception for baby beluga whales below.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Memories... I can smile at the old days.

My neighborhood is bizarre. This thought is never far from my mind while I'm at home, but two nights ago it became even clearer. That incident, coupled with the fact that Mr. Island of Misfit Toys and I have found a place in SF and are soon to leave this neighborhood behind, has inspired me to put together an impartial list of what I'll remember and (in some cases) even miss about this Lorin District of mine.

[in no particular order]

1. The cacophony that is the drum circle at the Hash-by Bart.

2. The ice cream truck that can only play that one, oddly familiar, but extremely annoying song.

3. The business hippies, oh the business hippies. It must be hard living the indie-rock-art life in this run down neighborhood with daddy paying your rent while you drive his old Lexus that's tragically missing a hub cap.

4. "De Thang" (the sweet black cadillac down the block with the quotation as its vanity plate) and "Mo Thang" (the massive black van down the block with this quotation as its vanity plate). The owners of these two vehicles, awesome in their own right, have a spectacular jazz band that practices Tuesday night. I will miss their weekly practice sessions and the crowd that's started to gather on their steps to listen to the free show. I'll also miss my roommate's phone calls when he was home and I was out and Mo Thang was driving down our street. The totality of his call, "MO THANG ON THE MOVE." Then he would hang up.

5. El Nopal, your food, rather crappy, but ever so cheap.

6. Lois the Pie Queen. I will miss your gritty grits, your bacon, your egg salad sandwiches, and especially your lemony ice box pie.

7. The Bowl. I'm torn up about this one. Too sad to write an adequate adieu.

8. The Berkeley Tool Lending Library, and its neighbor, the Thai Temple Brunch. What a combo!

9. The kind and friendly grandma who lives down the street and cheered for me and Rordog when we were in our graduation robes on the way to the bus that took us to Commencement.

10. And finally, the incident I mentioned above involving an axe wielding neighbor. The other night, Jotina, Rordog, and Misfit and I went on a walk to the corner store (where, incidentally a drunken woman once grabbed my butt) in search of Reddi-Wip for the pumpkin pie I had baked. Berkeley Bowl's inferior Berkeley Farms whipped cream had betrayed us. Its product had no "wip," so to speak. Most likely some kid had already depleted its nitrous stores before I even purchased the can.

In any event, on our way down Woolsey, this crazed blond man walked up along side us. He was muttering to himself and, slung across his shoulder, was a sawed off electric guitar. His axe. He asked us if we had seen a guy in a t-shirt, wearing a hat, riding a blue mountain bike. He informed us that the police were looking for him.

Evidently, this poor soul's bike had been stolen and to wreak his revenge, he was going to wail on him with his axe. To our relief, this man proceeded on his way and left us alone to complete our mission. Our mission failed, the convenience store carries more in the way of alcohol, pork rinds, cigarettes, and canned chili. Even without the whipped cream, we were happy to have escaped unscathed.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Me: "My senses are filled up right now."

Response: "Must be the taco."

Today my two friends and I went on the aforementioned taco quest. It turned out to be more than a simple taco expedition. The adventure was a resounding success and turned into a mini-road trip replete with Americana, lengua, and breathtaking views.

We headed off for Pescadero, CA at around 4pm. To experience the longest (?) Bay Area bridge, we took the San Mateo, and arrived in tiny Pescadero from Hwy 1. Hwy 1 was scenic, as its signs suggest. The sky was grey and matched the color of the ocean. Only the tiniest sliver of sunshine broke on the waves, far out, near the horizon.

In Pescadero we missed the taqueria on first pass. The taqueria is quite literally in the gas station and no signs mark its location. Fortunately, we doubled back and found it next to the cash register at the only gas station in town (regular gas: $3.49/gallon!!)

To my chagrin, there were no tamales dulce. To A (my mascot)'s disappointment, they were also out of cabeza and ojos. We ordered two fish tacos, one lengua, one al pastor, one carne asada, and the carnitas. Dear God, the carnitas. The carnitas reigned supreme. The pork was juicy, perfectly charred to a crisp on the fatty bits, and bursting with flavor. Paired with the jalapenos/carrots, cilantro, and salsa, this taco was unbelievably good. I also enjoyed the chips, which I thought were perfectly salty, rather oily, and nice and thin.

We dined next to seemingly local teens and a local family discussing quinceaneras. The atmosphere was very small town and friendly. I felt like a total idiot when my cell phone rang. Hello? Not cool.

Post-mountaintop taco experience, we headed across the street to Duarte's Tavern. This place is o-l-d and well-established. We were totally full from the tacos and ordered only pie and coffee. Between the olallieberry and the strawberry rhubarb the olallieberry won. At first I was skeptical about the crust. It looked kind of thick and prone to being dense and dry. I was pleasantly mistaken and found the whole thing to be kind of toasty flavored, light, and flaky.

Duarte's would be a good place to hit up for dinner or lunch. It won (what appears to be) a pretty phenomenal award three years ago: the James Beard Foundation Award - granted to only four restaurants a year! Duarte's also has a tavern in back complete with fake leather stools and swinging doors.

More to be continued...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

No, I was not on a cruise

But, I have partaken of at least 4 buffets in the past 2 weeks.

Yes, between Vegas and Chicago I've recently eaten quite well. In Vegas, it was more that I ate a lot. Quantity not quality. While in Vegas, however, I did manage to eat at Lotus of Siam. Little Lo is a member of my favorite class of restaurant. Class members are usually located, like Lotus, in a seedy strip mall next to a wig shop. Lotus looks like the type of place one would be wiser to forgo. Inside, multilingual reviews of the Lotus' supreme mastery of Thai cuisine papered the entryway. The reviews did not betray. Something larb-like was excellent and the pad see ew was perfection. The wide noodles had a texture no other restaurant I've been to has attained and the tofu in the dish was delicate and somewhat sweet. To top it all off, we had an amazing (but somewhat expensive) Thai desert trio of a coconut sorbet (disappointingly granular texture), what I considered to be a deep-fried banana twinkie, or more appropriately a banana egg roll, and some spectacular mango sticky rice. The banana egg roll was good, but I would travel back for the mango sticky rice. That, dear readers, is saying something. I have reached my Vegas saturation point, and I don't see myself returning soon. Nevertheless, when I think of that rice, I consider checking SWA for cheap flights...

In Chicago, I had a fabulous bachelorette party meal at Sapori Trattoria in Lincoln Park. My dear friend's sister treated us to kir royales, a memorable appetizer with portobello mushrooms and some really really decadent bread pudding. My favorite entree was the equally decadent butternut squash ravioli. A lot of restaurants won't serve that dish year-round. For traditionalist reasons they confine (or rather, imprison it) to colder seasons. The emphasis in this particular ravioli was on the butter. I appreciated that as a butter devotee. The ravioli was sweet, nutty, crispy (was that pine nuts?) and yumtastic. Service at Sapori was also top notch.

The next night in Chicago, my sister, her main squeeze, and his roommate took me to Polish-town on Milwaukee Avenue. While there I saw what appeared to be the nicest laundromat... ever. It was next door to the Red Apple (aka Czerwone Jabluszko) Restaurant. My hunch is that the Red Apple owners also manage the laundromat. The laundromat was very clean and had a tiered tray of free (that's right, free) desserts out for the taking. These desserts were both free and looked awesome. At the Red Apple our awesome waitress pushed us to order beer (the Polish nickname for the brand is O.K., and it was, O.K.). The buffet, for $8.99 (weekend rate) was rad. The meaty pierogies were scrumptious and I enjoyed the apple pancakes as well. The meat and potato varieties were also good, I'm afraid I can't describe the dishes since the restaurant was not so accomodating to us non-Poles as to place names near the buffet trays. Despite that minor pitfall (and with the exhortation to step away from the fruit tray - the plums were bruised and mushy, food looked spoiled), I wholeheartedly recommend the Red Apple.*

Before I sign off, some of you may be wondering, why has Dirteens spent an entire post discussing food? What's up with that? Well, on the one hand, tomorrow I'm replicating part of the recent NYT taco quest feature [see "Chasing the Perfect Taco"]. In Pescadero, I hope to try a pineapple tamale, some tacos with scary meats in them, and track down some olallieberry pie. On the other hand, I'm trying to avoid thinking about wedding planning and fuming about my recent denial of short-term health insurance. Apparently, if you take any prescription medication (i.e., asthma inhaler) you are categorically denied short-term coverage by Blue Cross.

I digress.

The real inspiration for all of this was the newly revamped Chowhound site. I visited Chowhound every now and then before the onset of the Bar. Post-Bar I returned to find that the site had sold out, but to my surprise and glee, it is much easier to navigate these days and conducive to hours of browsing. Good times.

* Eating at the Red Apple brought back many happy memories of the Pierogi Fest in Whiting, IN. You really must go. In addition to the widest variety of dumplings this side of heaven, you can take your picture (for FREE) with Mr. Pierogi and Mr. Kielbasa. Now that is a treat. And while I'm on the subject of weird festivals and events... if you weren't at the Anvil Drop at Gardner Hardware in Mpls, MN today, you missed out. I may plan my wedding around it next year.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

this really cheered me up today

And brought back memories of one of my favorite childhood tunes, "Baby Beluga". Perhaps I will rock out to some Raffi tonight. Seeing these pictures also made me realize that I actually do like whales. This presents quite an exception to my usual disdain for non-human members of the animal kingdom.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

my solemn promise to you, dear readers

I swear, that after this marathon of study is over, I will refrain from posting about boring topics like weird bar vocabulary and test preparation. For now, however, since I do nothing else but study, eat, work out, and sleep, I bring you the most recent Gmail ad displayed for my account.

A Bar Exam Must-Have for Everything you Need for Exam Day!

At first I thought it might include chocolate, a flask for chugging whiskey after the exam is over, or Adavan. Instead, some Colorado company has taken to creating exam-day kits for Colorado Bar examinees. Too bad they use a digital clock [tsk-tsk] and include snacks. There's no eating and only analog clocks here in California. The fun times never end here in the Golden State.

Also, I recently found an old SNL "Deep Thoughts" postcard from my dearest friend Helly. She sent it to me way back in Junior High and I've saved it all these years. It seems particularly relevant now as I work on detestable MBE questions:

Instead of having different answers on a math test, they should just call them "impressions," and if you got a different impression, so what? Can't we all be brothers?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Whoa, Woe.

To paraphrase the always eloquent Roberto - "woe is the [Bar]. woe are... readers [of blogs about the Bar]. woe be all up in the hood. many weeks of woe. much boredom with woe of [essay writing]. no easement of the woe to be found in the [Bar blogs]. woe are the [Bar blogs]."

Seriously, people are psyching themselves out and I foolishly read their blogs this evening. Won't make that mistake again. I hate vicarious stress. Why isn't there strict liability for such crap? Woe indeed.

ATTENTION Lyrical Geniuses: I need your help.

I've recently started attending this awesome boot-camp type of fitness class at the gym here on campus with my friend E. The instructor has an affinity for funkalicious R&B and pop-reggae tunes. Every day so far, we students have been regaled with the same (entertaining) mix. At the end of the class, the mix features this one hilarious song. I know only a tiny portion of the lyrics but, honest to God, they seem to be, "Shake your B-O-T-Y."

I'm pretty sure that B-O-T-Y is an incorrect spelling of booty, but I suppose one can never be too certain. Does B-O-T-Y mean something I'm unfamiliar with? If not, how could an error this egregious pass by the producer's vigilant ears? I am dying to download this song, but knowing so few lyrics, I can't seem to find it. My Google searches have been unavailing as they suggest KC & the Sunshine Band's famous tune or imply that I am misspelling my inquiry.

Can anyone help this bored bar-taker out?

Also, QUOTE OF THE WEEK, in a thoughtful response to my inability to hang out with a friend: "It's not you being lame, it's the Bar being lame."

Sunday, June 18, 2006


This weekend, at a fantastic rehearsal dinner at Fat's in Folsom*, I received a very unusual fortune. I think this fortune tops the one my mother used to get in every cookie she ate at the Great Wall in Minneapolis. [Mind you, we ate there often enough to receive Christmas cards from the owners.] Her fortune was, "You will meet a tall, dark woman." My fortune read:

"Alas! The onion you are eating is some else's water lily."

Now, I've never seen a fortune that starts with the word, "Alas." I was a bit startled by that, not to mention the fact that it was followed by a fright-inducing exclamation point. This bit about the lily and onion has me a little stumped. I believe leeks are part of the lily family... Perhaps this has something to do with not wallowing in bitterness and self-pity... Your thoughts?

*My very best wishes to the lovely Lew-Williamses (see above)!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Shame on Me

I should be reading a Conviser Mini Outline right now but I felt like updating this too-long neglected blog. Besides, if I learned one thing in law school, it was that I can rely on Chemerinksy to teach me anything. Thank God for Chemerinksy I say. Furthermore, TGIF tomorrow.

Before I bore you any further by making a few more unsolicited comments about Bar Review, I do have some newsworthy information to impart. I got engaged two weeks ago! The author of the, even more neglected blog, Island of Misfit Toys, is my fabulous fiance. [He's one witty dude, eh? Perhaps with some prodding from my three faithful readers, he might even start blogging again...] I am thrilled and excited to be engaged but still stumbling over the word "fiance." Is there a synonym that sounds less fruity? Perhaps I could invent a word from the ridiculous Real Property vocabulary I'm learning now for the first time.

On that note, it turns out that Property Law questions remind me a little bit of the Logic Games section of the LSAT. Everyone always pisses and moans about that Games section. Often times, people complain that it has no real world implications. Well, the next time you have to figure out some sort of insane chain of future interests, messed-up restrictive covenant drama, or "chain of title," those games will seem eerily familiar. Personally, the Games section of the LSAT was my favorite part. In fact, I liked puzzling them out so much that I didn't so much bother teaching myself how to approach the reading comprehension section. Now that I'm facing Property questions, I am getting a similar code-cracking feeling from deciphering these ridonkulous vocabulary words. I can't say that I find this process satisfying, but I do hold out hope that at some point I will understand these "words" and perhaps this topic will not be such a black hole for me.

I'll close with an example of some definitions I wish existed in the law:

Remainderman: The clean-up guy at dinner, see, e.g., my father. The man who eats everything left on everyone else's plates so nothing goes to waste.
Avulsion: The feeling of panic and illness that comes over a student who took my "Property" class when faced with Property questions.
Reverter: A popular Berserker death-grind cover band. "My love for you is like a truck, REVERTER!"

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Still Here

It's been quite some time since I posted. In fact, since I last wrote, I've hosted a big party, taken exams, started watching Grey's Anatomy (against my better judgment), graduated from law school... and most recently, I've sprained my ankle. Since so much has occurred recently, I don't feel like I'm up to the task of updating the blogosphere on the little details.

For good measure though, I'll share a few highlights in case anyone still reads this:

[Mercifully] Short Graduation due to no Commencement Speaker In characteristically Berkeley-ish fashion, a protest prevented Howard Dean from speaking at Boalt's graduation ceremony. The AFSCME custodial workers on UC Berkeley's campus have been demanding a living wage for a long time. They specifically picketed commencement speeches at Berkeley to target a number of Democrats who were scheduled to speak. Not wanting to cross a union line, the speakers declined to deliver their speeches. I support AFSCME's struggle for a living wage, and generally don't want to get in to the politics behind all of this in this forum. Fortunately, my family also supported the shorter ceremony. It may have spared them all some serious sunburn. The weather graduation weekend was phenomenally gorgeous.

In Attempt to "Get Back in Shape" Recent Law Grad Immediately Sprains Ankle No less than 20 minutes into my first jog of the summer, I turned my ankle on some crappy and uneven West Berkeley pavement. This was to be my summer of discipline and fitness, both in terms of Bar study and running. Although my ankle is healing fast and I'm off crutches, I resent this slower start on my running plan. In spite of my regrets, I'll probably need the extra time I can spend studying to learn property. Today in PMBR class I learned exactly how little property I know. And by how little, I mean none... Looking at those questions was like trying to read a foreign language. I hate property - SO BAD!

The Goat Cheese Graduation Party I threw this open house for a few of my closest friends and their families before graduation. My sister and I cooked, parents and friends mingled, we had some Princesse Tort from IKEA (which, btw is amazing), and we danced in my kitchen. It was awesome. I am so thankful for my family and the marvelous friends I've made here. The theme, which was essentially to put goat cheese in almost every dish, may have escaped the majority of the partgoers' detection, but the food was yummy. Perhaps once this fricking Bar exam is over, I'll throw another dinner party.

Marissa Cooper is NO MORE! At the beginning of the season finale I had a horrible feeling that the character who would die was going to be my beloved Sandy Cohen. My fears stemmed from Peter Gallagher's comments at the recent (3rd Annual) Sandy Cohen Fellowship event. PG seemed pretty down about the show. [In retrospect, this was probably due to the fact that Fox hadn't announced it was being renewed for next year yet.] During my panic about his possible death, I recalled that at the OC@Boalt ceremony, he even made some veiled remarks about how if Sandy were no longer around, we'd have to keep the fellowship going. [In fact, he coined the brilliant catchy tag line: "Keep the Sandy Cohen Goin'!"] Fortunately, my fears were assuaged when Marissa died in a car crash. Phew! So glad that Mischa "The Bear" Barton can move on to other projects. Although the OC will now be free of her crappy acting and annoying character, I have some doubts about the show's feature. With the fab foursome down to three, and off to college, I can't help but say that the show has jumped the shark. Here's hoping for some kind of renaissance...

Well, I suppose I don't have much to say by way of update. This post was, if nothing more, a catalyst. Hopefully, it will trigger more writing, and [much] more interesting things to say. Blah...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

the TRUTH exposed!

Drinking Sparks, and perhaps especially Sparks Plus*, all night does result in massive hangovers. Here's to the Sandy nonetheless!

* Also note, the claim on the Wikipedia Sparks page that the drink tastes like pixie stix is absolutely ridiculous. The drink tastes exactly like Flintstones vitamins.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You know you're a nerdy law student when you spend the whole day thinking about official immunity...

And it's out of your own free will.
This morning I stumbled across a story in the Mpls Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press. The Strib version is here. The version from across the river is here. By the time I post this, the story will likely have been covered elsewhere but this is what I read so I'm going to limit my comments to what I absorbed from these articles.

By way of summary, for those of you read on before reading the links (for shame!), the Fire Chief in my hometown is a lesbian. Her name is Bonnie Bleskachek, and she is one of the first openly gay fire chiefs in the nation.... maybe the first. Bleskachek's former partner, Jennifer Cornell, brought suit in federal court today against Bleskachek for a continuing pattern of on the job hostility. In addition to living with and raising children with Bleskachek, Cornell was also a firefighter and worked under her. Cornell claims that Bleskachek physically assaulted and beat her. In addition to this violence, Bleskachek used her position of power to abuse her in their workplace as well.

A few things sparked my interest in this story. For one thing, it is an example of domestic violence in the workplace, an area in which the effects of domestic violence are rarely explored in the news. It is also unlike the employment-related DV cases I've heard about before, where an abuser sabotages their partner's attempts to work outside the home, destroys job related materials, or beats their partner up so they can't make it into work. Instead, this story illustrates how the workplace could, quite literally, be another site where an abuser with supervisory control over their partner could find new ways to flex power and inflict harm. Obviously, this is also a case involving (at least allegations of) same-sex partner abuse. While oft-cited stats show that abuse happens about as often in same-sex relationships as in opposite-sex relationships, I get the sense that domestic violence cases involving same-sex partners are more rare. This is just a guess, but I imagine, backed by some reading I've done on the topic, that my hunch might be accurate due to a couple of factors. First, there may be reluctance to draw attention to problems within the community. Or reluctance to draw attention to the existence of a same-sex relationship in the first place. There's also the likelihood of bias, or disbelief, in the courts.

Along with these observations, what really surprised me about this story was how there was in this case, an apparent federal cause of action in an individual case against an alleged abuser. I speculate that this suit must be a Section 1983 claim, though none of the articles covering this story actually state the cause of action. Since I'm guessing that this is a Section 1983 case, I'm also assuming that Bleskacheck was sued in her official capacity. The most recent update on the story says that the suit also lists the city and the Fire Dept as defendants so I imagine that my guess is on point. While the case has elements of employment discrimination, those allegations seem rooted the in the domestic violence that underlies the whole situation.

I discussed this with my friend Snoopy, a fellow fed courts student last semester and DV clinic participant. Both of us found this situation to be quite unique. There have been DV cases in federal court before. The only ones that come to mind though involve VAWA or suits against municipal governments for failure to enforce restraining orders (i.e., Castle Rock, though I think this suit originated in CO State Court). Snoops, who recalls fed courts in quite a bit more detail than I do, wondered whether Bleskacheck would be able to assert official immunity. That doctrine is over my head to a large extent and way too complicated for me to delve into here, but suffice it to say, it seems possible that if she's not found to have acted in her official capacity, it will be tough to prove liability. Until today I hadn't considered this nexus between liability for actions taken in an official capacity against an employee which happen to constitute abuse against a domestic partner. Probably this is because it's relatively rare for spouses to supervise spouses at work??

In any event, this whole situation is really sad. The violence mentioned in the article is horrible and heartbreaking. I'm really curious to see how this case was pleaded and hope to provide further updates as things progress. Regardless of what happens in this suit, I guess I hope that it will result in increased awareness about the widespread and devastating impact of domestic violence in employment. That's undoubtedly wishful thinking.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Just Rolling... in my Benzo

Recently in Berkeley I've observed more uncharacteristically Bezerkeley things than usual. Perhaps they aren't actually out of character so much as they are bizarre and unexpected. If that's true, they are probably more Berkeley than tie-dyed, unwashed business hippies.

Example the first: Ladies are wearing the silliest, and furriest boots around this campus. Goodness gracious! I am accustomed to seeing people wear ridiculously warm clothing in California. For some reason it is chic to wear big winter hats, scarves, and gloves when it's around 50 degrees Farenheit. Until this year, (or last year's advent of the Ugg) these wintery staples were usually paired with flip-flops or sandals of some sort. While this Berkeley fashion statement was certainly incongruous, I was aghast when I saw the plethora of boots designed for very cold, even Siberian, weather this year. Now these boots are not just warm, they are goofy. They have fur, and tassels, and embroidery and they are hardly ever cute - at all. I just don't get it.

Example the second: Near the intersection of Bancroft and College last week I saw a white Mercedes Benz SUV. Now the SUVs near campus seem un-Berkeley to me in the first place but the most surprising aspect of this Benzo was it's vanity plate. That's right, as if you needed a vanity plate when you've already got the shiny new Benz. In any event, this vanity plate read, "Go Vegan."

What the heck? How gaz guzzling cars exemplify the vegan lifestyle is beyond me, but I sure am glad that this car owner had his or her priorities straight. I mean it's really critical not to eat honey - which was produced by oppressed bees. It's far less important to conserve fossil fuels and prevent destruction of our dear Mother Earth, home to, that's right, all living creatures. Even those adorable honeybees.

Monday, January 16, 2006

My Faithful Readers

Recently I noted that when I google my name (ah the vanities of self-stalking), that this url is the first hit. I don't know when or how this happened. I make a conscious effort to avoid self-reference in my posts. Maybe blogger changed its policy?

In any event, I began to wonder if this might have any effect on the number of hits that "For God and For Cheese" receives. There's really no way to check, but I was curious. Upon further research I've discovered that searches for "is cheese bad for dogs?" and "wet pets san pablo" are just as common routes for ending up at this site as a google search for my name. Most likely this change in the Google realm has had no impact whatsoever over here... Nevertheless, I was also encouraged to ruminate on this type of web popularity by a certain friend who will remain nameless.*

Here are my findings:

The results from "Blog Patrol" show that in the past month, I've received 395 hits. I'm not sure if this slightly inflated number was due to some holiday cheer, or reflects hope that I would actually post something while on break from school, but I generally average around 10 hits per day. While this is by no means overwhelming, I was intrigued to find that many of my readers are not in fact members of my family. My seemingly most loyal reader, Lizardo, is indeed my sister but there are plenty of reader urls listed from places as far away as... Oklahoma. With this surging popularity, I resolve to write more in upcoming months. I've got an article on legal clinics on deck waiting for my commentary. Stay tuned.

* In future posts I will fully disclose the reasons for all of this sleuthing.